Hall of Fame cornerback and TV pundit Deion Sanders has always carried the nickname “Prime-Time,” a reference to the fact that when the NFL plays in prime-time, everyone is watching.
But if the current trend continues, Deion may want to change his nickname to “Saturday Afternoon Sanders” or even “Friday Night Lights Sanders.”
This week’s NFL Network broadcast of Thursday Night Football experienced another devastating, double-digit drop in ratings, down as much as 30% from last week.
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The clash between the Denver Broncos and the Indianapolis Colts drew only a 7.4/13 rating in metered markets. That poor showing resulted in a new season low for TNF on both CBS and NBC and simulcast on NFL Network.
According to Deadline Hollywood, “Looking at the close December 7 game between the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints, last night’s TNF was down 27% in the early ratings. That Falcons’ win went on to deliver a 4.3/17 rating among adults 18-49 and 14.61 million viewers.
“In what has been a slippery season in the ratings for the NFL and broadcasters on the Big 4 and cable, last night’s TNF fell 26% in MM from the TNF of December 15, 2016. In the final numbers, that Seahawks win drew a 4.3/16 in the key demo and a total audience of 14.65 million.
Deadline Hollywood explained further, “To give one more bit of context, the low of the Week 15 game slide 12% in metered market ratings from the previous TNF season low of October 26, the last TNF on CBS this year. That Baltimore Ravens 40-0 demolition of the Miami Dolphins eventual pulled in a 3.4/14 among the 18-49 and 11.36 million viewers – which might be an indication of what to expect out of last night’s game.”
The internals of the rating numbers bode even worse for the NFL, “…the Broncos vs. Colts game peaked with a 8.0/14 in the 9:30 – 10 PM ET slot. Or to put it another way, that’s down a hard 30% from the meter market peak of last week’s TNF,” Deadline Hollywood concluded.
Listen to your (former) fans, NFL…or die ignoring them.